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The Nanocorp Primer #3
Role/Actor Scenario Patterns
The A-Team and the Sandbox - A Pattern to Enable Nanocorp Replication (AKA New Economy Job Creation)
The Three Flavors of Growth Patterns
As a nanocorp, you are limited in the type of growth you may use to evolve your business. A nanocorp is dedicated to being 'ruthlessly small'... that is, no employees, ever, no matter how sure you are that you could hit The Big One if you just added a few minions... er, employees. Nope, can't do it. Or you will violate the source of your zone of discretionary power.
One book planted this important idea in our minds nearly thirty years ago. That idea is this -- Qualitative differences in organizations can be generated by their selection of growth models.
'Big and fast' business models rely on accretive growth. 'Small and accurate' models leverage community-building growth through replication and transformation based on mutualistic exchanges (synergistic, win-win transactions).
Written in the early 1970's during the heyday of the 'counter-culture' and a growing interest in General Systems Theory within the scientific community, George T. Lock Land's 'Grow or Die: The Unifying Principle of Transformation' contains a provocative, systems approach to organization theory, especially in terms of his growth-model taxonomy. He distinguishes accretive, replicative and mutualistic primary growth models. He then goes on to present far-flung implications for systemic behaviors and lifecycles from these growth models.
'Grow or Die' is a thought-provoking book and remarkably current considering its publication date. Land is a very 'model-driven' and wide-ranging theorist. Software modelers, particularly those interested in design issues relating to on-line communities and 'organic' approaches to visitor-driven content management might want to dig into this one the next time you are interested in a whack up the side of the head.
Nanocorps (entrepreneurial free agents) grow through replication and transformation, not through accretion (getting bigger).